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 Considerations for the Future

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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:32 am

It was just a short glide from the canyon rim down into the gorge itself.  Br'son couldn't help but take a moment to admire the sun on Yllaveth's translucent, steely blue-gry wings as the Titan queen led Scarlet Hesirath down toward the river and the cave-marked cliff beside it.  

Yllaveth banked suddenly and flared her wings in a neat, economical little maneuver that had her landing on a narrow little ledge, approximately a dragonlength up from the rippling surface of the water below.  

We shall become very precise with our flying, living here, the queen said, both to her rider and to Hesirath.  The sleek Scarlet dragon had, until this past sevenday, been one of Yllaveth's instructors back at Eastern Weyr.  Before Yllaveth and her class had graduated from Weyrling training and been subsequently exiled to the back end of nowhere for being different.  There are cave galleries here.  They feel large to me.  Perhaps one of these will be suitable for my eggs?  

At this, Br'son reached down and stroked Yllaveth's neck, trying to be reassuring.  I won't let any harm come to your eggs, sweetheart, he promised her, flooding their connection with every bit of fervent love his eighteen-Turn-old heart could muster.  No matter what happens, I will protect you and your clutch.

Yllaveth answered in kind, with wordless love and bottomless trust for the young man who shared her mind.  She knew.  Br'son was hers.  Of course she knew.  

Thus motivated, the young queenrider lifted his head and squared his shoulders.  "Well," he called brightly to Ashrah as he swung a leg over Yllaveth's neck and dismounted.  "This seems as good a place as any to begin exploring, don't you think?"
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:13 am

Indeed. A good place for the young ones to learn their corners and develop a sharp sense of range. Hesriath replied and landed neatly a few feet away from Yllaveth. Ashrah got down from her Scarlet's neck and pulled off her helmet, bounded blond hair falling down her back in a single thick braid.

"High formations and caves hold humidity, good for Yllaveth. The humid climate will help her hide retain moisture, which she will need as her pregnancy progresses, in addition to more oiling." Ashrah said, the words coming naturally to her lips as the advice from her old Weyrling Master came in play.

The space is large. That is good but we must make sure it is warm enough. Hesriath said, including Yllaveth, Ashrah and suddenly Br'son. Occasionally, Hesriath was known to go that when instructing young ones. Br'son was graduated but he was still the rider of a young and very important dragon. Hesriath, for her part, hoped they would understand.

"Hesriath's right. Without enough heat from underlying hot springs, the eggs won't hatch." Ashrah said and then she looked at her Weyrsenior.

"May I call you Br'son in private?" she asked and then felt she must explain. She tried to keep her voice out of lecture mode, couching her tone gently.

"It is needful that we respect you in public, refer to your title only if not otherwise familiar with you. The others will need to see you not just as Weyrsenior by derth of Parazath's death but by the love the people bare you. By the respect and confidence you inspire and by Yllaveth's command over the colors in this place. If you mean to have Sidran as your Weyrleader, even Acting Weyrleader until Yllaveth rises to mate again, that should be among your first order of business once we are settled and safe. Also, name your Wingleaders and Seconds, even if you only have one wing to start. They'll be loyal on the surface to you by the dragon which you ride but you'll need to win them through and through. Then they'll go to the moons and back for you, should you bade them."

[[Did I say too much, love?]] Ashrah thought suddenly to Hesriath.

I do not think you offended. You have good points and unfortunately, Yllaveth's authority is not yet secured in this place. That will be a little less so when she clutches but you are not out of line to tell him these needful things. You might be the only person to tell him what he needs to hear and not what he wants to hear. More, you are not using him to your benefit. You tell him as your peer and instructor both what is needful.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:13 pm

Br'son blinked, startled as Hesirath's voice joined Yllaveth's in his head for a moment.  Beside him, his lovely titan stirred slightly, restless at the thought of another speaking to her rider directly.  Br'son soothed her with a thought, reminding Yllaveth that he was hers and hers alone, and Hesirath sought only to be efficient and keep them all safe.  

"Of course, please call me Br'son," the queenrider said to Ashrah.  "And is 'Weyrsenior' really going to be my title?  I suppose it's as good as anything, it's just... I didn't expect any of this.  I suppose none of us did." He took a deep breath, dropping his chin for a moment before meeting Ashrah's eyes again.  "I'm not ready.  I'll be honest with you and tell you that.  I'm not anywhere close to ready for this kind of responsibility.  But if you think I need to set up Wingleaders and wings and such...  well.  You make good points, Ashrah."  He inhaled and let it all out on a bit of a heavy sigh, then shook his head as if to dispel such dark and heavy thoughts.  "I'll talk to Sidran about it tonight.  But for now, let's find us a warm cavern for some eggs.  You make a good point about the springs.  I wonder if we can find a cave where the springs come to the surface?  I hear they can be near boiling-hot."

As he spoke, Br'son began to pick his way forward, through the boulders and rubble that littered the cave mouth.  Hesirath was right.  This cavern was large, but not nearly warm enough to harden dragon eggs.  But it might do later as a gathering-hall or eating place.  A Weyr, even one such as this, needed a Lower Caverns, after all.  

He opened his mouth to say as much to Ashrah when Yllaveth went suddenly very still.  

What is it? he asked, his hand going immediately to the belt knife he wore... for whatever good that would do.  

I don't know.  Something...
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:13 pm

It was daylight, which just meant Divisk's mood was even more ferocious than usual. He'd woken, sprawled in his favorite deep cave, when the annoying buzz of human minds that usually surrounded him intensified suddenly and unbearably.

Not human, no, worse. Louder, deeper, more layered, stronger, and MORE. So very much more. He snarled again, moving through his tunnels in a fury of motion and rage, and though it was still properly dark where he was he could feel the pressure of the unbearable sun out there, the way he could feel all these minds in his canyon.

What. Are. You. DOING. Here. he demanded, feeling one of those big minds - two - just outside of one his preferred large caves, full of rocks and proper rubble.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:26 pm

Hesriath hissed, harsh and forcefully. Despite her size, she move quickly and covered her Titan queen, interposing her ruby red body between Yllaveth and the mouth of the cave, her wings flaring half ways to cover the pregnant Titan.  

We are dragons. We are looking for shelter. Who are you? Come out and no harm will come to you less our riders you threaten. Hesriath said. Whatever Ashrah had been about to say to Br'son died on her lips as she moved to cover his flank, her hand on her own knife. Hesriath's eyes whirred orange sparked in red and yellow.

"Hello?" Ashrah called out.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:37 pm

Yllaveth reached out, sending calm to Hesirath and... welcome? Curiosity?  Gladness? Something that Br'son couldn't name, but didn't feel defensive or threatening to the one that called out to them.  

We come looking for a home, though we do not mean to take yours. The Titan queen craned her neck to look past Hesirath into the darkness.  Male.  The voice and mind definitely felt aggressively male.  Yllaveth could work with that.  We will go if you choose, but I am egg-heavy and look for a safe place to lay my clutch.  It is important to take care of one's young, as you no doubt know.  Surely someone as powerful as yourself must have sired clutches before, yes?

Br'son cut his eyes to Ashrah.  "I think it's a wild wher," he said softly.  "Yllaveth speaks to it-him.  She is certain he's male.  I think she's trying to charm him."
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:47 pm

His wings mantled, but instead of a full-throated growl he only managed an angry hiss. Dragons? Riders?

Belatedly he realized the smaller minds were humans, and he had his own - he reached for her, felt her surprise that he was awake, because daytime was awful - and turned his discontent back toward the larger, soothing-er mind. Haven't sired anything. No other whers here. Less she think that meant they could come in and take everything, he added, ferociously, This is mine. All of it.

He could have advanced threateningly - surely he could get to the humans before the dragons could get to him - but something in him paused. They hadn't threatened him, truly. He didn't care that they were female, but something about the eggs held him. Or their voices. Still, he drew himself low to the ground again, feeling the only human he cared about getting closer, tensed to react if they came closer. Why do you have to be here? That, while not calm exactly, was a request for information rather than a true complaint.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:19 pm

Once we were of Eastern Weyr.  The leaders there cast us out.  For we are different than the rest.  I am queen, but not golden.  They think us lesser, but they do not know us, not at all.  We will survive, despite their intent.  I will lay my clutch and they shall choose riders to raise them.  We will not be forgotten, and we will never let them destroy us through neglect! Yllaveth delivered this ringing speech, broadcasting widely enough to include Hesirath as well as the wher.  This is your home, and we would not take it from you.  We would not cast you out as we have been cast out.  Let us, rather, stay and be stronger together.  For we have riders, and they can do many things.  Perhaps we can bring you a wher to mate, to create clutches of your own?
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:51 pm

Yllaveth speaks the truth. I am Hesriath and while I am female, my hide is as red as human blood and my size like that of a brown dragon. I am a fighter, chewing stone and breathing fire. When I rise to mate, I do not clutch eggs like my Queen, Yllaveth.

Ashrah's heart beat quickly but she waited, evaluated their situation. She needed to protect Br'son, above all things. He was their future.

We have not come to take your territory. We would like to share it. Hesriath said, her tone softening.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:23 pm

Less. White hot fury in his tone, stubby wings spreading, muscles bunching. Something told him, at a level nearly instinctive, how it would be, made to feel less. Wrong. Wrong like sunshine, like the noise of all the minds, like being woken for anything other than a hunt.

Wrong, and he would not have it, not in this canyon. A low growl rumbled from his deep chest, his thoughts snarling in a mix of clutches sired, homes taken, homes shared - could homes be shared? Could he take so many more minds? If they were calm and controlled, like this big one, or sincere and wary, like the other - the growl didn't abate, or grow, until it stopped abruptly.

Silence for a moment, and then a woman's voice. "Divisk tells me you are going to sweeten him with mates, and that he would like to hunt those who hurt you."

Dividia stepped fully into the cavern, moving until she was next to the now-quiet, but vibrating, brown wher. She didn't touch him, but stood near, and she peered at the shapes ahead. "So you're the dragonriders we've heard so much about. A Titanium and a Scarlet, is it?"

She kept her voice calm - it was harder for them to see her than her to make out their outline, and she knew the space, besides. Curiosity burned, and wariness, and so her tone was calm and perhaps a bit friendly.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:28 am

"Yes." Ashrah said. She did not know if it was right to speak to this stranger before Br'son but directive pushed her all the same.

"I am Ashrah and this Scarlet is my Hesriath. As you might have heard, either from your wher from Yllaveth or rumblings in the surrounds areas, Eastern Weyr has cast us out. We were escorted here, to thrive or perish as fate would have."

Ashrah felt a cold, sinking feeling in her stomach; an empty ache. Even being a strong woman, considering what she lost at Eastern before exile, it still hurt. All on account of Hesriath being a beautiful ruby red and not green or gold. She was an adult, she couldn't scream and cry. She couldn't say 'It's not fair!'; though she wanted to. She had just gotten to see Z'ash Impress before they left.

His bronze Manticath will be a force to be reckoned with one day. Hesriath said, leaning down to breath over her rider. That lightly spicy air rallied Ashrah from her dark thoughts.

"Have you lived here, just you two, all this time? Has no one supported you?" Ashrah asked gently.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:11 pm

"I hadn't heard," she replied, stepping closer but not close enough to be seen clearly, or to leave the range of darkness where Divisk could easily back her up. "Not very dragonrider-ish, is it?" The latter question she left, for the moment. Better to gauge what was going on.

"Did they even scout anything before they left you here? This isn't a well known canyon." And they would have noticed dragons traipsing about. An idea was forming, but mostly she wished Divisk would ever deign to talk to anyone else, so she could send a message to her father.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:11 pm

"They had, um, old copies of surveys done awhile back, " Br'son said, being intentionally vague.  Just how much information Eastern and the other Weyrs had recovered from Landing wasn't exactly common knowledge.  He didn't think this woman needed to know that the map and survey he'd been shown had been ancient artifacts from the settlers so long ago.  "It was enough to be going on with.  They said this area was uninhabited.  Yllaveth told your wher... we don't intend to displace anyone, truly.  Our need, however, is sadly rather dire.  Yllaveth is egg-heavy.  She'll clutch before too much longer, and if we're to see her eggs survive, we must have heat and a cavern.  I-we," he said, glancing at Ashrah, gesturing so as to include her in his statement.  "We had hoped to find something like that here.  A larger cavern, large enough for many dragons.  Heated by the geothermal springs that supposedly exist here.  That would generate enough heat to harden a clutch."  

Br'son's young voice nearly throbbed with the passion of his plea.  He heard his last words echo off of the stone walls around them and realized that he might be coming on a bit strong.  

"I'm so sorry, forgive my manners.  I am Br'son, Yllaveth's rider.  I'm the... Weyrsenior of this group.  And you are?"
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:02 am

Dragon eggs. Divisk had been such a huge addition to their work, how much more would dragons add? They wouldn't need to worry about blockades or longer routes, with one of those dark blue-ish black ones at night, or one with the right 'special talent'. Her mind calculated possibilities, but Divisk's upswing in tension caught her attention and pulled her to notice the tiny sounds behind them.

Abry. Of course the girl had followed her; Dividia had been mid-word when she'd raced out to find what had Divisk not only awake but in a supreme fury (a quick bubble of amusement welled through the wher's boiling thoughts - supreme fury was a term he took rather intense pride in), and Abry wasn't one to let something like that lie, not at home at any rate.

Dividia made a deliberate gesture, hoping they were backlit just enough for the girl to see, and had to assume Abry would get Avidian when there were a few more faint noises and then nothing. It had only taken a moment, and Divisk hadn't even turned to see, but she had no idea what dragons could or couldn't sense, so she decided it was time to answer.

"There's one that might suit. I'll warn you, it might be...fragrant. How close to clutching is she?" She let a hint of wary friendliness in her tone. They seemed nice enough, but there'd be no worry of displacement as far as she was concerned. Even dragons slept.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:15 am

"Less than two months," Br'son answered.  His eyes flicked from the wherhandler to Ashrah and back again.  The woman had declined to give her name.  That wasn't encouraging.

They do not trust us.  Yllaveth said to Hesirath and her rider both.  They are wary, and we are strangers.  Though I think the wher is receptive, and his person seems friendly enough.  I feel that they are not alone here, but beyond that, I cannot say.  I would like to see this cavern they think of.  

Br'son nodded, and only by the stiffest application of will did he avoid looking at Ashrah again for guidance.  She would be the first to tell him to take command.  He was, after all, a queenrider.  

Weyrsenior. Yllaveth put in, amusement threading through her tone at the new title.  

Right.  Weyrsenior.  Br'son squared his shoulders before speaking to the wherhandler.  "Fragrant isn't a problem, Divisk's handler.  Not as long as it's warm.  We would greatly appreciate you showing us this cavern you think might work for our needs.  As well as anything else that might help keep us and our dragons alive," he added, with a bit of wry humor.  "Clearly, staying alive is something you're good at, if you live here with Divisk alone."
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:11 am

A pause, not as long as it might have felt, while she argued with Divisk.

You cannot go. Stubborn was a pale word for the wher, and his entire body compacted further with tension.

Meet me at the cavern, Dividia said, matching him for implacability. She'd already given up asking him to make a detour for her father, in part because she knew it would end with one of the other men bleeding, more likely than not. Divisk could not be sent into a habitated area without her. I know how to get around, and they do not. You'll see me soon enough.

Riders and dragons, he argued.

It caught her up a bit short. Are the dragons going to hurt me?

Divisk stopped to think - unusual for him, truly, so the big dragon must have something more than charm - the larger mind had been soothing, and beyond surprise to see him, neither of them had given any indication that harm would come to his human. The other big mind had claimed herself a fighter, and Divisk could tell it was true. Mine, he told them both, picturing his person. Implicit in that word and image was the clear fact that even the evil of sunlight would not stop him from bursting into the world outside to protect or avenge her.

She didn't chuckle, though it was tempting, and touched him once before moving to the front of the cavern, where they would be able to see her properly. "We are very good at staying alive," she agreed, and met both their eyes for the first time with a slight smile. She did not look them over assessingly - so obvious, that - and instead pointed. "We're going to go down the cliff face, there. It's shadowed, but more than big enough for," a slight pause again, this time as she took in the vibrant blue-gray and glossy ruby red hides behind them, "your beauties. Dividia," she added, since they already knew Divisk's name and now her face, it seemed silly to hold that back. Two months...She wasn't sure what Avidian would want to do, but at the very worst surely they could wait at least that long, if this would be the result.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:47 pm

Now Br'son did look at Ashrah.  

"Shall we follow... Dividia, was it?" he asked, glancing back at the wherhandler, who nodded, seemingly somewhat bemused.  

I think we must follow her.  I shall listen for more people and whers, Hesirath, perhaps you could do the same.  And if we are to go down the cliff face, could we not fly down beside her?  We are not grounded, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:07 pm

Ashrah didn't blink for a long time while she looked at the wherhandler. Her green hazel eyes took in many details of muscle composition and endurance trained strength. She then nodded to Br'son but she did not take her eyes off of Dividia.

"You must be." Ashrah said. "This place looks...hard. Only hard people thrive in such places."

Hesriath rumbled and turned to look at Yllaveth, faceted eyes whirling slowly.

No, we are not grounded. Let us do as you suggest, Yllaveth. I will keep my mind open to others who might be tucked away in this strange place. My rider will protect yours.

The scarlet dragon physically nodded as if to emphasize the fact.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:50 pm

"Always heard dragonriders were smart," Dividia replied, with another quick smile. She met the scarletrider's eyes, allowing herself to look faintly wary and not remotely intimidating.

They had the dragons, and she knew the area - even on both sides, as far as she was concerned. Without further ado, she turned and walked the way she'd pointed, so that they knew the thin ledge would safely hold their weight.

They hadn't done much to make anything look like steps or a path - just the natural face of the canyon, something animals might have created a trail for, to get to the water - so they might skid a bit, but it was safe enough.

And enough loose rock that if one of the riders picked up speed to get closer to her she'd know. Still, she anticipated an uneventful trip to the cavern she had in mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:32 pm

Br'son followed along the slightly precarious path, Yllaveth a comforting presence in his mind, as always. Of course, the fact that Ashrah walked with him was no less comforting. Part of his teenage male psyche stung at the thought that the Scarletrider and her dragon thought that they had to protect him... but his rational self intervened. He was, after all, the only queenrider they had. As such, he was responsible for their hopes for the future. His pride was of small import, beside that.

"How far down is this cavern, Dividia?" he asked, somewhat uncomfortable with the wherhandler's silent descent. "Can you describe it, at all?"
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:10 pm

"About halfway down," she replied, turning her head only slightly to ensure they could hear her well. The path was safe enough, but it was that 'enough' that mattered. The canyon was best approached with respect, and a lifetime of traveling its paths didn't lessen that regard.

"It's the largest in the canyon, and warm - the springs come up close to the surface there, and there are parts of the cavern where they've carved their way through. Keeps the air warm too, but it smells like hot springs, so I wasn't kidding about the fragrance. Watch your step down here - the switchback can be crumbles when it's dry."

Dividia stayed quiet while they navigated that, then continued, "Sometimes the streams pool and sometimes they're just rather bubbly, but they've never done any of that geysering you hear of inland, so there should be plenty of space for your queen to handle her business safely. About how many eggs do you expect?"

Just a polite turn of conversation, to ensure the cavern had enough space. They were nearly there now - the edge of the cavern's mouth shadowed ahead.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Br'son walked in, blinking rapidly as his eyes transitioned to the dimness inside the cavern. The change in atmosphere was both immediate and remarkable. Gone was the thin warmth of high desert. Instead, a wet heat seemed to enfold his body, bringing with it the sulphuric smell he'd anticipated.

But it was warm. And it was large. Large enough not only to fit Yllaveth comfortably, but also another, and possibly a third queen, should the occasion arise. The young queenrider looked up, but he was unable to see the ceiling as it arched above him.

The floor was mostly even, though the rock did tend to slope down toward each of the pools that were scattered about the entirety of the cavern. For a moment, Br'son was reminded of a block of cheese that had been sliced open to reveal where air bubbles had created crater-like pools along the surface of the slice. He shook his head in bemusement at the oddness of his thoughts, and turned to his companions.

"Ashrah," he said, unable to keep the excitement out of his voice. "It's not like anything we've seen before, but I do think this can work. With all of these pools... we could build a platform, cover it with sand, have it heated from below. What do you think?"
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:29 am

Dividia glanced over them both to take in their reactions, though her gaze swiped over the huge cavern as well. Seeing it through their eyes, looking for her wher, just observing - could have been any or all of it.

Divisk was close, which relaxed some very small piece of her (he was barreling through tunnels with no regard for anything else; she had a moment to hope no one else found themselves in his path), but she wanted to see her father before long. He trusted her to make deals, but this - this wasn't just a deal. This was a game-changer.

And love her as he did, that wouldn't save her if she made the wrong one, so she stood a little back from the riders in that balance of wary ease she'd adopted, and listened. And waited.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:41 pm

Avidian watched from the shadows, taking notes on how these two strangers interacted with his daughter.

He'd kept this place, this sanctuary, for many Turns. It had been a secret, known only to his trusted inner circle. That secret had been his highest priority for a very long time. So much so that he'd sacrificed the mother of his child in order to keep it safe.

But this was something he'd never anticipated. Dragons. What could a man do against dragons?

Fight them? Possible. But there had to be more than these two, and no one knew the kind of violence a dragon would cause in order to protect his or her rider. And Vid's people weren't very many... not here in this secret center of his empire.

So. Fighting wasn't the best option, then. What then remained? Alliance? Perhaps. And there was only one way to find out.

Avidian stepped out from the tiny cleft in the rock that led to the tunnel he'd used.

"Dividia, please introduce me to your friends," he said, taking care to call out before getting too close to his daughter. That wher of hers knew him, knew his scent... but would protect Dividia against all comers, even her father.
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:47 pm

Careful, Divisk said, sliding to an ungraceful and still entirely ferocious halt as he burst out of his tunnel and turned his possessive attention over first his human, and then - not quite accusingly or threatening - the rest. And the dragons. Whom he did not mantle at, but regarded all the same.

Dividia overtly relaxed. Her father would know it for at least partial show, but it was meant to help keep the dragonriders at their ease. "Father," she said, her tone warm; just a normal daughter, happy to see her sire. "This is Br'son and Ashrah, riders of the Titanium and Scarlet dragons. Eastern has abandoned them, and Br'son's queen is near to clutching."

A low, rippling growl from Divisk's corner of the cavern. He wasn't sure how he felt about the big minds that had invaded his territory, but he knew wrong when he heard it, and it was clear the wher strongly disapproved.

"Dragonriders, this is my father, Avidian."
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PostSubject: Re: Considerations for the Future   

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Considerations for the Future
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